Belgium’s Thomas Pieters closed with three straight birdies to win the Made in Denmark tournament and stake his claim to a Ryder Cup Captain’s pick.
Thomas Pieters carded an excellent final round of 65 at the Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort to win the Made in Denmark by a single shot from Welshman Bradley Dredge. With the victory, the Belgian sent a clear message to European Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke as he considers his three wild card picks for Hazeltine.
Pieters began the final day in Denmark a shot off the lead held by Dredge, but birdies at the 4th, 6th and 8th put the Belgian in front. The players then had to endure a four-hour weather delay before heading back out to complete the final round.
Pieters made a bogey on the 9th immediately after the break, and a chip-in by Adrien Otaegui on the 8th gave the Spaniard the lead.
The back nine was a tense affair with four players sharing the lead at one stage. But Pieters finished the strongest. He closed with three straight birdies to win by a shot.
“It’s all about winning tournaments. I’m really happy with this one,” he said. “That was one of my goals, to just have one every year, just so you know you’re improving and you can win. That’s very important. I’m very, very happy.”
4 Talking points from the Made in Denmark
1 – Thomas Pieters went into this tournament as one of the players in the running to secure a Ryder Cup Captain’s pick for the matches at Hazeltine in September. The Belgian could not have done more to convince Darren Clarke that he is deserving of selection. The youngster played with Clarke in the first two rounds – firing a superb 62 on the opening day – and he won the competition in some style, demonstrating that he can keep his cool when the pressure is on. Another man who could receive a Captain’s pick from Clarke, Martin Kaymer, was full of praise for Pieters’ performance. “If I was the Captain, I would pick him,” he said.
Thomas Pieters driving tips:
2 – Bradley Dredge drained a lengthy putt across the 18th green that gave him second place on his own. The birdie earned the Welshman €200,000. He has climbed to 21st place on the Race to Dubai standings.
3 – Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren was tied with Peters on 16-under-par standing on the 18th tee. But he hit a terrible final tee shot, pulling his drive into a forest. He lost his ball and ended up carding a seven that dropped him into 5th place. Still, the result was an important one for the Swede. He went into the week 128th on the Race to Dubai and he has now climbed to 91st – the top 110 at the end of the season retain playing rights for 2017.
4 – The other Ryder Cup selection hopefuls playing in Denmark all performed well. Martin Kaymer played solidly to finish in a tie for 6th; home favourite Soren Kjeldsen ended the week tied 8th and Ireland’s Shane Lowry recovered from a poor first round to make the top-25. Clarke will have a tough decision to make by Tuesday but Pieters has surely done enough to earn a place.
Made in Denmark
Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort, Farso, Denmark
Purse €1,800,000, par 71
1 Thomas Pieters (Bel) 62 71 69 65 267 €300,000
2 Bradley Dredge (Wal) 63 66 72 67 268 €200,000
T3 David Lipsky (USA) 65 70 67 67 269 €101,340
T3 Adrien Otaegui (Esp) 68 66 68 67 269 €101,340
5 Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 62 70 71 68 271 €76,320
T6 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 69 70 66 68 273 €58,500
T6 Jaco Van Zyl (RSA) 67 76 66 65 273 €58,500
T8 Ricardo Gouveia (Por) 69 67 69 69 274 €42,660
T8 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 68 67 73 66 274 €42,660
T10 Paul Dunne (Ire) 68 68 69 70 275 €33,360
T10 Mikael Lundberg (Swe) 71 69 69 66 275 €33,360
T10 Richard Sterne (RSA) 66 67 73 69 275 €33,360
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage